January 18

Greetings 5a Community,

…and an especially warm welcome to the families of Oliva and Junsuk, or new students for semester two who begin on Monday.

In UOI this week we began investigating the first line of inquiry: forms of governance (form). Students began investigating the system of government found in their home countries. They are preparing a short presentation on the key facts, to be presented in class next week.

On Tuesday, our Head of School Ms Jane came to Grade Five to talk with us about our governance unit. She taught us about the system of government at UNIS, and answered many questions from students.

Next week we will take a closer look at the responsibility of citizens and government (responsibility)

For iACT time this week, students were asked to lead a discussion about a possible exhibition topic. So far, students have talked about whaling, ocean pollution, malaria, air pollution, and wars in Yemen and Syria. Next week we will continue our discussions with those students who have not yet presented.

In math this week, we have continued our inquiries into decimals by examining the 100m freestyle swim times at the 2012 Olympic Games. Students practiced reading, ordering, comparing, writing, adding, subtracting and multiplying decimals. Next week we will take a look at percentages, before practicing converting between fractions, decimals, and percentages.

In literacy this week, students have been reading about different forms of government, in preparation for their home country presentation. We also began examining characteristics of the discussion text type in a little more detail.

The annual Blue Dragon Walk-a-thon fundraiser is back. On the 1st of February, ES students will be walking and or running laps around a 200meter circuit to raise money for Blue Dragan. Blue Dragon is a local organization with the goal to get homeless children off the streets of Hanoi, and into homes and schools. Your child has been given their sponsor sheet today, and they are encouraged to get as many sponsors as they can (students are not limited to one sheet). 5A also needs volunteers on the day to keep track of laps and cheer students on as they push themselves to complete as many laps as they can.

5A are taking the walkathon very seriously. We are eager to raise as much money as possible. We have started training every day by running laps around the field together. For the next two weeks, please ensure your child has shoes appropriate for running.

Dinner time talk
• What problems are you thinking could be good to highlight as an Exhibition project?
• What is the purpose of raising money for Blue Dragon?
• What forms of governance have you inquired into this week?
• Do you know how our home country is governed?

Save the Date

  • 21st Jan – Start of Semester 2,
  • 28th Jan – reports home to families
  • 30th Jan – Parent Teacher Conferences 10am – 6pm
  • 31st Jan – Tet Assembly
  • 1st Feb – Blue Dragon Walkathon

January 11

Chuk Mung Nam Moi! I hope you enjoyed your holidays.

We commenced our new Unit of Inquiry this week on governance. Our central idea is ‘Power comes with responsibility’. This week, students have engaged with a week-long provocation. On Monday, Charlotte was lucky enough to find the toy in the Galette Des Rois, and was soon crowned Queen Charlotte for the day.

Unfortunately, Queen Charlotte was mysteriously poisoned on Monday afternoon, which left the class without a leader all day Tuesday; anarchy ensued.

After a day of inaction, ‘Brewster Honorable Leader’ took over control of the class on Wednesday. His strict regime ensured a great deal more work was completed.

On Thursday, power was handed over to the class, and President Nghia was democratically elected leader of 5a. Together, the class planned and voted on all aspects of the day including the daily timetable, lesson ideas and how their buddy time could be utilised with the grade two students.

Today, the students of Grade 5 worked together in four groups to create a shield representing their preferred governing system.

The purpose of this UOI is to inquire into:

  • The interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities
  • Forms of governance (Form)
  • The responsibility of citizens and government (Responsibility) and
  • The effectiveness of governing systems (Change and Reflection)

In Math this week, we have continued our inquiry into fractions by examining decimal place value. In Literacy, students completed a pre-assessment for the new text type: discussion. We also continued reading both Hamlet and The City of Ember.

Dinner Time Talk

  • What is your preferred system of governance?
  • What do you think will happen next in City of Ember?
  • What decimals can you find around the house?

Save the Date

  • 18th Jan – new family orientation
  • 21st Jan – Start of Semester 2,
  • 28th Jan – reports home to families
  • 30th Jan – Parent Teacher Conferences: 10am – 6pm
  • 31st Jan – Tet Assembly
  • 1st Feb – Blue Dragon Walkathon


December 7

Greetings 5A Community,

As we near the end of our energy unit, this week the class has presented their understanding of an energy source. We worked hard to compile a rubric together, and now all students have a thorough understanding of how they will be assessed on the unit. The past two days have seen the class preparing for a debate about which energy source will be the best option for a fictional country called UNIStan. You can support your child at home by asking them about the positive and negative impacts their energy source is likely to have on society and the environment.

In math, students have been busy modeling, comparing and adding fractions through a range of games and activities. We made our own fraction strips and students have been utilizing them to show their understanding in class all this week.

In literacy, students shared their energy presentations and took notes to help them plan the debate next week. We also began remodeling the research to fit the information report format. Next week, students will be asked to write a reflection explaining what fraction of their ten ‘vote credits’ they will distribute amongst the energy sources.

In class this week, we have also been talking a lot about what is happening at the UN climate council, and the work of Greta Thunberg, a 15-year-old girl from Sweden. If you are not yet aware of the situation, ask your child for more information.

Finally, students are encouraged to check out books from the library to read over the break.

Dinner Time Talk

What is climate change, and what can we do about it?

What energy source has the highest C02 emissions? What is best for the planet?

What message did our guest speaker have for Grade 5?

What fraction of the pizza would you rather have ⅓ or 1/4?

What fractions can you recognize in everyday life?

Save the Date

Winter Break December 15 – January 6

First Day Back at School – January 7, 2019

Have a wonderful weekend!

November 23

Greetings 5A Community,

In UOI this week we began examining our second line of inquiry ‘Electrical Energy Options’ (causation). We brainstormed a list of energy sources, and built upon our list by searching for others in non-fiction books. On Tuesday, Carl Strefford (Senior Manager of Operations at UNIS) came in to talk with us about our energy needs at UNIS. We learned how our energy needs change throughout the year, and he also taught us about Vietnam’s reliance on non-renewable energy sources. In the Makerspace, our class has been busy at work with Ms Michelle inventing, planning and creating a product designed to tackle one of the SDG’s. 

On Thursday, students were introduced to their summative assessment task for this unit. They were placed into groups, selected energy sources and began researching. Next week, students will continue their research in preparation for a presentation to the class in the following week.

In Math this week, we began our examination of fractions by first completing a pre-assessment task. Students ordered fractions on a number line, made comparisons and then worked together to create a fraction display for the classroom. Next week we will continue our investigations by examining the relationship between fractions and decimals.

In Literacy students began working with information reports. We first examined the assessment rubric, before the class were tasked with writing their own report on any topic of their choosing. Once the reports were completed, the reports were peer assessed with the rubric. Next week we will continue to examine reports by taking a closer look at the structure and grammar components.

Next week is SDG at UNIS. Students can expect a wide range of SDG activities, learning and action all week long.

UN Day is on Friday, November 30. Please join us for the flag ceremony and Global Lunch. Many thanks to those parents who have helped organize the Global Lunch. If you missed the sign-up sheet, please follow this link: Grade 5 Food Sign-up Sheet:

The schedule for UN day is as follows:

  • 8.00 – 10.00 – Parents/students deliver food. Class parent volunteers collect the food.
  • 9.45 – 10.15 – Class parent volunteers arrange tables for lunch
  • 10.15 – Leave classroom to attend ceremony
  • 10.30 – 11.30 UN DAY CELEBRATION
  • 11.30 – 12.00 Class parents return to classroom to finalize food setup
  • 12.00 – 13.00 UN Day Community Lunch – students eat first
  • 13.00 – 13.30 Clean up and take down

Students will be dismissed at 13:00 (1:00 pm).

Dinner Time Talk:

  •       Which energy source are you researching for UOI?
  •       On average, what is the electricity bill at UNIS each month?
  •       What percentage of energy in Vietnam in non-renewable?
  •       What four sections must we always include in an information report?

The week that was: 

November 16

Greeting 5A Community,

Let me begin by thinking all parents who made it along to our Open Classrooms this week. It was exciting to have your presence in the room. I hope that this opportunity has given you a better understanding of the learning engagements that take place both at UNIS, and within 5A.

In UOI this week, we have continued our examination of the first line of inquiry ‘Electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled’ by building and manipulating circuits. In the classroom, students were engaging with traditional wire, lightbulb & battery pieces to construct single and parallel circuits. In the makerspace, Ms Michelle has had the class designing their own electronic inventions using ‘Little Bits’. Next week, the class will take a closer look at our second line of inquiry ‘Electrical Energy Options’.


In Literacy this week, we continued our examination of non-fiction texts by skimming and scanning for key information. We identified and discussed non-fiction text features, before recognizing and labeling them in a range of books about energy.

After a brief discussion around the Macbeth production, Monday morning saw us begin reading Hamlet. We have also continued reading ‘City of Ember’ throughout the week. On Wednesday, Ms Tina joined us for an introduction to word inquiry. Next week we will begin deconstructing and analyzing our text type for this unit, report writing.


In Math, students have been writing and solving their own questions related to the burning of calories through exercise. This required them to read and analyse data in tables, whilst working with area models and number lines to better organize their mathematical thinking. Next week we will take a closer look at decimals and fractions.


Dinner Time Talk

  • Why is Hamlet so sad?
  • What are some of the features of a non-fiction text?
  • Can you show me how an area model works?
  • What items do you need, to make a simple electronic circuit?

Save the Date

Friday December 7th – UN day


November 9

Greetings 5A Community

Open classroom times for 5A

You are invited to visit our class next week at the following times:

  • Thursday 15th of November – 2:00 till 3:20 pm – UOI
  • Friday 16th of November – 10:30 till 11:25 pm – Mathematics (you may like to join your child for lunch afterwards)

In UOI this week, we began our new How the World Works unit about Energy.

An inquiry into…

  • Electrical energy that is transferred, transformed and controlled (form, function)
  • Electrical energy options (causation)
  • Energy consumption choices that affect the environment and society (causation)

On Monday, Grade Five students arrived to school and discovered that the power had been shut off in our four classrooms. We began the day with math, and the class soon learned how to accumulate watt hours by burning calories. Specialist classes (strings, art and music) all contributed to the total calorie burn of the class. In the afternoon, the four classes pooled their calories and decided they had enough to power one air-conditioner, a projector and a lap top – enough to watch a documentary movie on clean energy (Billions in Change).

If you (or someone you know) is knowledgeable and would like to talk with us about the topic of energy, we would love to hear from you!

In math this week the class continued to work with number lines while we examined the intake, and burning of calories. Students used their knowledge of math facts and area models to calculate the energy expenditure required to burn off a variety of popular food and beverages. We also learned some new math games, and Ms Beth paid us a visit to help us make sense of mathematical number structures.

In literacy this week we began our new read aloud novel ‘The City of Ember’. We took a closer look at how to plan a narrative story, and students completed their narrative post-assessment task. On Thursday, we took a look at a collection of non-fiction books related to the new unit. Students made connections between the books and our Central Idea. Next week we will examine non-fiction texts in more detail.

Dinner time talk

  • What is energy?
  • What is the cost of a typical electrical bill for your household?
  • What have you learned at school during your i-Act time?
  • What did you do with your G2 buddy this week?

Save the Dates and Reminders:

  • Thursday November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms
  • Friday November 30 – UN day

Greetings 5A Community

Greetings 5A Community,

Our field trip to the Women’s Museum on Tuesday was a success. We examined some traditional women’s clothing, and considered a number of perspectives related to beauty. The main exhibit allowed students to listen to stories of Vietnamese women who had migrated from rural Vietnam to the city for work. Our students emphasized with their position, and now have a better understanding of the daily struggles of life for many vendors.

In UOI this week we continued to develop our migration stories, for the museum next Tuesday. All students will need to practice over the weekend. I encourage you to sit with your child this weekend and give them feedback about their presentation. The Migration Story must be told clearly. Students will be assessed on their ability to use voice expression, gestures and body language.

In math this week we have started using the ‘Claim, Support, Explain’ protocol to show our mathematical thinking. Students need to know how to make a claim (hypothesis), represent their thinking using a range of models (support), and then explain their reasoning. The more students practice explaining the process of solving a mathematical problem, the more confident mathematicians they will become. This week we also began to examine the concept of area and perimeter. On Thursday, Ms Beth come in to introduce a Three Act math routine related to area.

Dress Up Day: Wednesday, October 31st

(A letter from the elementary office)

Our Elementary Student Council has decided to support the Middle School and High School Spirit Week by participating in a fun dress up day next Wednesday October 31st.

In an effort to enjoy the dress up day at UNIS Hanoi appropriately, respectfully and in accordance with school rules, we ask that students use the following guidelines when selecting a costume:

Costumes should not completely obscure a student’s identity. Staff members must be able to identify students.  Eg.  Full face masks should not be worn.

Students are encouraged to be creative in their choice of costume.  Costumes should not be frightening or gory. Remember that UNIS student ages range from 3-18. Costumes should be appropriate for the full school community.

  • Fake weapons are not allowed. No military-style costumes.
  • Costumes that could be offensive or perpetuate a stereotype of someone’s culture, gender, heritage, or religion are not permitted.
  • Costumes should not hinder a student’s ability to participate in their classes, including P.E. Costumes may not disrupt learning or present issues of safety.
  • Students wearing questionable costumes will be asked to change into normal school attire. A change of clothing for all students is required.
  • Talking points for teachers and parents to assist in this teachable moment…

Remind students of their audience in the school (students, teachers, parents, community members,). This is a school—what may be appropriate in pop culture or the media may not be appropriate for a place of learning. We are a community, and we want students to think about how their costume choice may impact others within this community.

Thank you for taking the time to help our students understand these guidelines.

Kind regards,


Save the Dates and Reminders:

Monday October 29th – All Grade 5 homerooms bake sale items needed

Tuesday – Migration Museum 8.30 – 9.30

Wednesday October 31st – Dress Up Day

Thursday November 1st-2nd – Faculty/Staff Professional Development Day (No School or ASAs for ES)

Thursday November 15th-16th – ES Open Classrooms

Friday December 7th – UN day

Dinner Table Talk

  • What is the formula for area?
  • What math data will you include in your migrant story?
  • What is the problem / climax of your migration story?


October 19

Greetings Grade 5 Community,

In UOI this week, 5A began the research component of our Migration Museum assessment. Students have been tasked with examining their migrant through the lens of the key concepts: reasons for migration (causation), how migration results in change (change) & perspectives related to migration (perspective). Next week we will combine our literacy focus (narrative) with UOI and write a migration story, to be delivered in the first-person at the migration museum.

In literacy, this week we continued our examination of time connectives, and began to look at different types of emotive language. The class participated in an ‘Emotive Language Battle’ where they took a standard sentence, adapted it to include a range of emotive terms, before presenting it to their opponent in front of the class. On Monday we finished reading Macbeth, and the class enjoyed an in-depth discussion around the themes of the play. 5A is eagerly awaiting the high school production coming up in November. Our guided reading also continued this week, and all groups appear to be thoroughly engaged in their books.

In Math, we began examining data in preparation for the math component of the migration assessment. Students have been reading and interpreting graphs related to migration. They were tasked with finding specific information, drawing conclusions about the data, and writing sentences to show their understandings. Next week students will need to find specific data related to their migrant, so that the information can be used to help tell their migration story.

Some of you may have noticed that the Chromebooks began coming home this week. I have granted some students permission to continue their school work at home, if necessary. Students will only be permitted to take a Chromebook home during the week, and if they have school work to go on with. 


Please be reminded that Tuesday October 23rd is our field-trip to the Vietnamese Women’s Museum. We will leave school at 8.30, and plan to be back by 11.30. Please ensure your child has returned the permission slip. They will need a hat, snack, water bottle and suitable walking shoes.

Dinner Time Talk

What happened to Macbeth at the end of the play?

What do you think the moral of the play is?

What changes did your migrant experience when they arrived in their new home?

How has Vietnam changed since the arrival of the migrant community?